Weekly Blog - Emily Smith - Peace
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Posted on: 9th May 2022
Our theme this month at Leeds Sanctuary is Peace.
This word may immediately bring to mind the war in Ukraine or conflict in other parts of the world, or it may make you think of the current unrest in the UK with our politicians being investigated, the cost of living crisis pulling more people into poverty, and the additional side-effects from two years of living through a pandemic.
But Biblical Peace is not merely the absence of unrest; it is in fact wholeness, true wellbeing, which can only be found with God. Praying for shalom in Ukraine would not only be a prayer for Russia to put down their weapons, but also for Russia to make reparations where damage has been caused. Praying for shalom in the UK would be a prayer for our elected leaders to take action which not only prevents people from falling into poverty, but also lifts people out of it. Matthew 5:9, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God".
The word “shalom” is a noun, indicating God’s gift to us, but it is also a verb; a call for us to do something. The city of Leeds is blessed by so many Christian organisations and volunteers who understand this well, serving people with the hope of improving their wellbeing. But our question this month is, how do you nurture your own wholeness in God?
At Leeds Sanctuary, we aim to support people to build and nurture their true wellbeing in three different ways. We offer opportunities for people to make reparation through gentle climate activism; we acknowledge our physical limitations by creating spaces in which to rest and be mindful; and we open discussion about faith, encouraging people to ask questions and enter into relationship with God. Are any of these aspects for accepting and nurturing shalom missing from your life?
By Emily Smith and Anna Bland